for such a phone [$400 RRP], the potential patent royalties could exceed US$120 per device. This brings the licensing fees per device close to the cost of components, which on the US$400 phone would be somewhere between US$120 and US$150.

"… those costs may be undermining industry profitability—and, in turn, diminishing incentives to invest and compete

via High smartphone patent royalties undermine industry profitability: report – Strategy – Business – News –

Again and again this shows what a ridiculous system patents are and how they hurt our society. Fair enough that patents protect the inventor for a few years – enough to get a competitive advantage – but ridiculous that people keep earning for ever without lifting a finger. Then of course it’s usually not the inventor that makes the money as they can’t afford the patent process, but patent trolls or large companies who extort the patents off the inventor. And there are the patents that are disallowed to certain companies, meaning they can’t use a widely known system. Or are taken of the market entirely until someone else manages to circumvent an old patent and equal the old technology.